More than 450 people turned out on a rainy Saturday night for The 2018 Sonya Ansari Center for Autism Garden Party July 21. Again this year, the party was hosted by longtime LOGAN supporters Pam and Bernie Veldman at their home in Granger. Drs. Zoreen and Rafat Ansari served as honorary chairs. Among the guests were U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
The food, the drinks, the ambiance and the fellowship have all made the garden party a signature event in the area. The mission it supports – LOGAN Autism Services and the Sonya Ansari Center for Autism — give it meaning. The evening began with a cocktail party and socializing. Everyone was having such a good time around the bar, getting them seated for dinner was not easy! Emcee Cindy Kilgore, a member of LOGAN’s Board of Directors, kept the party on schedule.
Highlights of the program included two moving tribute videos, one honoring Dr. Todd Graham and the other Mr. Lou Behre. Tammeka Smith, a mom whose 13-year-old son Ralphie attends the Sonya Ansari Center for Autism, got a standing ovation after speaking about the impact the center and its staff have made on her son. “This program has added so much to our family and has given us the freedom to do the things other families enjoy doing,” Tammeka said. “I’m telling you, you guys are great!”
The rain stopped and the skies cleared just in time for the partygoers to move poolside for dancing. Guest enjoyed the DJ talents of Millinova Music until the last call for the shuttle to the parking lot came at 11:30 p.m.
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